“I just wanted to be able to play the guitar, never mind have one that is a signature model”: Fender and Susan Tedeschi team up for a signature Telecaster based on her 1993 American Standard

Fender Susan Tedeschi Telecaster
(Image credit: Fender)

Fender has unveiled a signature Telecaster for Susan Tedeschi that is based on her iconic 1993 American Standard in Caribbean Mist.

Indeed, looking at that exquisite Aged Caribbean Mist finish – a deep cut from the Fender paint room that looks more turquoise than turquoise – and the four-ply tortoiseshell pickguard, you might swear that it is the very same electric guitar Tedeschi uses when fronting the Tedeschi Trucks Band

There are some key differences, of course. This newly minted model does not bear the signatures of BB King, Herbie Hancock, John Lee Hooker and others, rendered in Sharpie on the guitar’s top. It does however bear Tedeschi’s signature on the rear of the headstock, and its neck plate has been engraved with an eagle. 

And most significantly, this has newly voiced custom single coil pickups – and they are hooked up to a factory-installed TBX tone circuit that is the sort of mod that any Telecaster aficionado would do well to entertain at some point in their playing career. On Fender’s early ‘90s American Standard Series models, the TBX was stock. But more on the TBX tone circuit in a minute. Here is Susan Tedeschi on her new signature guitar.

“Honestly, it’s a dream,” Tedeschi says. I just wanted to be able to play the guitar, never mind have one that is a signature model, so it’s an incredible honour.” 

That honour cuts both ways. Fender’s executive vice president of product, Justin Norvell, says the Big F is every bit as honoured to be collaborating with Tedeschi on this new Tele.

“Susan Tedeschi is a major force in contemporary blues-based music, and it’s so exciting to be honouring her with her very own signature guitar,” Norvell says. “Fans of Tedeschi will be very familiar with her original 1993 American Standard Telecaster and its iconic Caribbean Mist finish, so it’s great to be able to offer them such a faithful recreation. 

“With its supremely comfortable slim ‘C’ neck and incredible custom-voiced pickups, this model offers an exceptionally enjoyable playing experience.”

Susan Tedeschi Telecaster | Artist Signature Series | Fender - YouTube Susan Tedeschi Telecaster | Artist Signature Series | Fender - YouTube
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It certainly sounds sweet, judging by the clip above. Key features include the solid alder body, the bolt-on maple neck, which as Norvell says above is a slim ‘C’ – i.e. it’s going to be a crowd-pleaser – and it is a shape that is cribbed from the original guitar. 

Said neck is topped with a slab rosewood fingerboard with a 9.5” radius, seating 22 medium jumbo frets. As for hardware, we have a six-saddle string-through-body Tele bridge with block steel saddles and a set of sealed tuners, both in nickel/chrome, with matching knurled flat-top control knobs.

Yes, the control knobs; that brings us back to the TBX tone circuit, aka the Treble Bass Expander It is a very cool feature, and you can buy one from Fender; they’re not expensive, priced £17/$23. 

The control itself is a stacked 250K/1Meg potentiometer with a detent, operating as a standard tone control in positions 1 to 5, after which it then progressively dials in more treble, bass and presence to your guitar amp (a function of the resistance decreasing in the circuit, and hence the name, "Treble Bass Expander"). No batteries are included because none are necessary. It's a passive circuit.

The Tedeschi Telecaster is manufactured in Corona, California, and ships in a deluxe hardshell guitar case, lined with black crushed velvet. It is priced £1,999 / $1,899 and is available now. For more details, head over to Fender.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.